Larry Shead, 69, instructor at Fort Scott Community College will retire in May.
A teacher of computer science classes at the college for the last 20 years, Shead worked in private business, then as principal of a local school and began his career at FSCC in 2000.
Even though his college degree is in mathematics, his involvement in his church got him into eduction.
“When our church started Faith Christian Academy and our children attended there, I was involved as a parent,” he said. “Later, I was involved as the principal of the school.”
” I have several preachers and teachers in my ancestry.,” Shead said. “However, my children are the main reason I got involved in education. I believe that children get a much better education when their parents are involved in their education. All of my grandchildren are being home-schooled by their parents. They are very involved.”
“When my family moved to Garland from Joplin, in 1978, I had a job as a computer programmer at the Western Insurance Companies,” Shead said. “After that, I worked for Midwestern Distribution for a short period, then Farm and Home in Nevada. I got more into education after that as the Principal of Faith Christian Academy for 10 years. I taught at FSCC as a night time adjunct instructor while working at the Western. In 2000, I began as a full-time employee at FSCC and soon became the Computer Science teacher when Dennis Smirl retired.”
Shead attended Arcadia High School, then graduated from Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, before earning a Bachelor of Science – Mathematics from Kansas State College of Pittsburg. and also attended Ozark Christian College for one year. He received a Master of Arts in Education from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK.
His hometown is Arcadia, KS and has been married to his wife, Vickie for 47 years.
They have four married children-Mark (Haley) Shead, Fort Scott, Michael (Chrisi) Shead, Chichicastenango, Guatemala; Maria (Clayton) Whitson, Garland, KS; Mitzi (Joel) Ray, Tulsa, OK and 20 grandchildren.
His community involvement is Faith Church on the prayer team; Bourbon County Republican Central Committee; Christians on Campus Faculty Sponsor; and International Student Coordinator at FSCC.
The best part of teaching for Shead is graduation, he said. “Seeing these young people having completed their associate’s degree, or certificate and moving on to the next phase of life!”
The greatest challenge for Shead has been keeping students attention., he said. “This age of gadgets has many distractions even in the classroom.”
” Some people ask me what I will do when I retire,” Shead said. ” I tell them, I have a farm. I will not lack for something to do. As my wife and I made a short trip recently, we made a list of items we need to do on our farm. Also, our family in Guatemala has a new baby we have not seen. We plan to make a trip to see them. Hanging out with grandchildren is big on the list, too.”